Korg unveiled its new microKEY USB Powered Keyboard and MIDI Controller.
For computer-based musicians on a budget, the microKEY is a way to create a compact and customized MIDI command center. Unlike its competitors, the microKEY features a built-in two-port hub to connect other controllers, computer peripherals or Korg nanoSERIES controllers for added flexibility and control of all the users’ software. Free editing software and a number of included software bundle licenses and discount coupons make the microKEY even more cost effective.
The microKEY features 37 velocity-sensing mini keys, using the same Natural Touch keybed found on the Korg microKORG XL and microSTATION. This keybed has been designed with attention to the touch and feel: the proportions of the black keys and white “waterfall” keys have been adjusted for playability, and the key touch makes it easy to play chords, glissandos and rapid-fire phrases.
The Octave Shift buttons are designed to extend the range of the microKEY by four octaves in either direction – up or down. The Key Transpose function is designed to allow users to play in any key instantly. Used together, these two features provide access to the entire MIDI note range. For adding expression to users’ performance, the microKEY is also equipped with both a Pitch Bend wheel and a Modulation wheel.
The microKEY serves double-duty as a USB hub. The two USB ports (Type A) allow users to expand their custom control center by adding on a Korg nanoPAD or nanoKONTROL – or any other USB device. The microKEY is compatible with Mac OSX 10.4 or later, along with Windows XP SP3 (32-bit), Windows Vista SP2 (32-bit, 64-bit) and Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit).
Users can download the free “Korg KONTROL Editor” software, available from the Korg website, and customize the microKEY for their production or performance system. With the editor software, users can set the keyboard to respond to one of eight distinct velocity curves, or set a fixed velocity value. In addition, the range of the modulation wheel can be customized by setting minimum and maximum control change values.
Weighing 2.21 pounds, measuring (W x D x H): 22.24" x 5.47" x 2.13" and running on USB power, the microKEY is designed for the on-the-go laptop musician as well, the company says.
The microKEY ships with the following software licenses and discount coupons:
1. A license to download the “M1 Le,” a limited edition of Korg’s M1 software synthesizer (included in the Korg Legacy Collection – Digital Edition) that brings to users’ computers the sounds of the ground-breaking M1 Music Workstation. Users may also choose to upgrade to the “M1 software synthesizer,” “Wavestation v1.6 software synthesizer,” or “MDE-X v1.2 multi-effect plug-in” bundles.
2. A license to download Toontrack’s software drum sound module “EZdrummer Lite,” giving users access to numerous drum sounds. Visit www.toontrack.com for details.
3. A discount coupon for Ableton’s “Live,” “Live Suite,” and “Live LE” DAW software, widely popular for its sophisticated functionality. For details on this software, please refer to www.ableton.com or www.h-resolution.com.
4. A license for “Lounge Lizard Session,” the physical modeling sound module from Applied Acoustics Systems, famed for its richly expressive electric piano sounds. For details on this software, please visit www.minet.jp/aas/lounge-lizard-session.
Pricing & Availability
The Korg microKEY keyboard and MIDI controller will be available November 2010 with U.S. MSRP TBD.
For more information, please visit www.korg.com.